The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has announced that it has received 26.5 million pounds from the United Kingdom, an amount which was left over of the money used to pay British colonial officers who worked in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, disclosed this today during the 58th Ministerial briefing at the state house.
The PTAD chief stated that the amount recovered was used to clear outstanding arrears to pensioners across all the pension departments, particularly the huge arrears inherited from the defunct and privatized agencies.
Also recovered as legacy pension assets by the directorate is the sum of 17.85 billion naira from Boards of Trustees and Underwriters of Treasury Funded Federal Parastatals.
The PTAD boss further revealed that the directorate has paid over 610 billion naira from January 2015 to December 2021 in monthly pensions, noting that that it had achieved 90 percent of its mandate.
The PTAD boss also stated that the pension agency will pursue the implementation of a five yearly pension review in 2024.
Dr Ejikeme also disclosed that the 1999 Nigeria Constitution, as amended had provided for the five yearly review, as the last review was carried out in 2019.
She equally noted that the review was in line with the current economic realities, added that the agency will pursue the implementation of the Constitutional provision of five yearly pension increment.
“Most of these people, their money go into medicals,” he said. “They are dying everyday. In a week, you will get four to five obituaries.”
But Dr Ejikeme was insistent that it wasn’t the fault of PTAD, but the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
‘Pockets of complaints’
“We send for reports from GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) to get the payments that have been made,” Dr Ejikeme said on Thursday. “Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes more.
“So we have that lag in communication as to whether the payments we made failed or not. And when we have such a situation, when the pensioner complains, we ask them to send us their statement of accounts, so that we can confirm that that payment didn’t go through.
“If he (Abiodun Michael) says 18,000 pensioners have not been paid, it means that PTAD has a bias for Lagos state pensioners. Why is it that the other pensioners from other states all over the federation are not making the same complaints?
“These are pockets of complaints and we are addressing them. This is a system, it’s technology, there’s nothing we can do about it.
“I have apologised to the pensioners about the three month arrears. We try to explain technology to our pensioners, but they don’t seem to understand.
“We are very happy to have EFCC and ICPC come look into what we are doing.
“It is not within our domain. It is within the domain of the GIFMIS platform. It is within the domain of the technology that is domiciled within the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.”
The Federal Government has announced plans to commence increased payment of pension to retirees to reflect the new minimum wage.
This follows the presidential approval for the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the new minimum wage of 2019.
The payment of the new pension to retirees will commence from May, Dr Chioma Ejikeme told reporters at a briefing on Friday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ejikeme is the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) – the Federal Government agency established in August 2013 in compliance with the provisions of Section 30 sub-section (2) (a) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) of 2004 (amended in 2014).
She noted that with the approval, PTAD would commence the upward adjustment of all pensioners’ benefits according to the approved template.
The PTAD chief also announced that the arrears would take effect from April 2019 and the agency would commence payment also in May.
According to her, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has no reason to protest as the issue was at the conclusive stage and PTAD will continue to work hard to improve the quality of the lives of the senior citizens.
Ejikeme, however, warned that the payment of the new pension benefits would be done as a responsibility of the government and no form of gratification would be requested.
She asked the pensioners to report anyone requesting gratification before their benefits would be paid.
The PTAD chief appealed to the senior citizens to continue to cooperate with the agency to provide better services to them.
Read the full text of her briefing below:
Executive Secretary’s Speech at the Press Conference on the Consequential Adjustment to Pension Benefits Arising From the Implementation of the New Minimum Wage on 30th April 2021.
Good morning All.
It is my immense pleasure to interact with you and brief you this morning. The Presidential approval for the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the new minimum wage of 2019 has been granted and the circular released.
With this approval, PTAD is now empowered to start the upward adjustment of all pensioners’ benefits according to the approved template.
The consequential adjustment of the new pension payment will start from the May 2021 payroll. The arrears will take effect from April 2019. PTAD will also commence payment of the arrears from May 2021.
It will be recalled that on the 22nd of April, 2021, I issued a Press Release to inform the general public of the sincerity of Mr. President to implement the consequential adjustment on the pension benefits.
I made it emphatically clear that the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has no reason to go on any protest because the matter was at the conclusive stage.
As a responsible Agency of government saddled with the mandate of overseeing the payment of pension benefits to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and taking care of their welfare, we are encouraged to do more for our pensioners. We will continue to strive to improve the quality of their lives.
Let me at this point inform and caution our senior citizens once again, that PTAD will not request any gratification from anybody before the money will be paid into their account.
They should not give their account details to anybody. They should report any scammer or anyone requesting gratification before their benefits would be paid to PTAD.
I repeat, do not give money to anybody. We have concluded arrangements to send SMS to all pensioners informing them of the payment and to caution them on the activities of pension scammers.
We continue to appeal to pension Unions to continue to partner and cooperate with the Directorate in our bid to provide better services to our Senior Citizens.
“The labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain.”
The Federal Government, through the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Friday, asked members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) to shelve its proposed protest over delay in the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits.
The retirees had earlier planned a nationwide protest to mount pressure on states and Federal Government to implement the increase on their pension, occasioned by the 2019 minimum wage.
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of PTAD noted that the government will likely commence the implementation of the consequential adjustment by the end of April 2021, blaming the delay on “disruptions caused by COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, members of the federal parastatals and private sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPAN) have directed its members across the country to honour the appeal by the federal government.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
Let NUP Shelve the Protest.
It has come to the attention of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) that the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) at its 11th quadrennial Delegate Conference resolved to go on protest at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, tomorrow 23rd April, 2021 because of the delay in the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the recently approved minimum wage.
As a responsible Agency of government saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the payment of pension benefits to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and their welfare, we are encouraged to appeal to our respected Pensioners that there is no justification for the protest after the meeting with PTAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme.
It will be recalled that the Directorate held a meeting with the National Executives of the Union led by Dr. Abel Afolayan on the 16th March, 2021 where the issue of the implementation of the pension adjustment was openly discussed and the Union gave their understanding. At the meeting, the ES told the Exco that the implementation is most likely to commence at the end of April, 2021 going by the submissions that had been made by all stakeholders.
However, there has been a little delay due to unforeseen circumstances but we believe the implementation can still start as early as May 2021.
Our Senior Citizens have nothing to fear because we have a President that has demonstrated greater commitment to the welfare of our Pensioners through PTAD more than any other President we have had in the past. Therefore, the issue of implementation will not be different. The matter is very important to the President.
We know the Pensioners have waited enough, although the issue of the Covid-19 played a significant role in the delay, we wish to encourage our Senior Citizens to trust that the consequential adjustment will be made without further delay. There is no reason for this protest.
The Federal Government has commenced the verification of pensioners in the diaspora and its database of retirees in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, made the disclosure on Tuesday during an interview with reporters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Mrs Ikeazor gave the hint after meeting with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
She explained that the diaspora verification exercise was an initiative of the government to ensure that every Nigerian including those living abroad received their entitlements.
The PTAD boss revealed that 15,600 pensioners have been dropped from the payroll owing to lack of proper identification.
She said the new system had saved the government millions of Naira, adding that the government was devising means to rid the pension system of fraud.
The federal government has revealed that it is set to kick-start the next phase of civil service Pensioners Verification and Biometric exercise in Bayelsa state.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Barr Sharon Ikeazor.
The statement indicated that the verification exercise would take place in Yenagoa to cover pensioners for Bayelsa on January 16, 2017.
PTAD had earlier concluded verification of civil service pensioners from the North-West and South-East zones in the country in 2015.
As a follow up, pensioners in the North East states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states were recently verified between November 28 and December 6, 2016.
“Apart from identifying ghost pensioners and putting a stop to fraudulent payments, the exercise facilitated the restoration of monthly pension payments to genuine pensioners previously removed from the payroll, including those who had never been paid any pension or gratuity.
“A total of 4,438 pensioners who were verified in the North West and South East who were hitherto not receiving their pension were rolled into November, 2016, and their pension and arrears paid.”
The statement indicated that pensioners are expected to come along with the original and photocopies of their relevant retirement credentials for the upcoming exercise as will be published in national dailies and announced on television and radio.